Before you arrive
You have made the decision to come to Qatar, so now you need to check in advance which visa is right for you. Generally, all non-Qatari or GCC citizens entering Qatar need a visa. In most cases, applying for a visa is easy and can be done online through Hukoomi or the Ministry of Interior.
Qatar has visitor travel arrangements with 33 countries (see below), so for many tourists a visa will be issued on arrival. For those whose country is not on the list, a visa should be applied for ahead of your visit.
For most of those coming to live and work in Qatar, your employer will arrange much of the application process for you. For those arranging their own visa, the process is straightforward and provides flexibility for short- and long-term business arrangements.
Countries that have a visa on arrival arrangement with Qatar
The United States, Britain, France, Italy, Germany, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Japan, the Netherlands, Belgium, Luxembourg, Switzerland, Austria, Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Portugal, Ireland, Greece, Finland, Spain, Monaco, the Vatican, Iceland, Andorra, San Marino, Lichtenstein, Brunei, Singapore, Malaysia, Hong Kong, and South Korea.
Citizens of the 80 approved countries can obtain a Tourist Visa upon arrival. This visa can also be issued online prior to travel.
This visa allows hotels, embassies and other authorized employers to arrange visas for citizens of the 33 approved countries before they arrive in Qatar.
This visa is granted to visitors of the 33 approved countries through authorized hotels operating in Qatar, or sponsoring residents with relationship to applicants through Qatar Airways. It is valid for one month and non-extendable.
Citizens of the 33 approved countries can apply for a Joint Tourist Visa that allows them to travel freely between Qatar and Oman. This one-month visa can be issued either upon arrival, or online before arrival, and can be extended for one month only.
Business Visas allow non-Qataris to conduct business and work in the country on a temporary basis. There are two types of business visas:
72-hour Business Visa – This visa is issued on arrival, and is extendable for a further 72 hours. The visa is suited to those who wish to visit the country on short-term business trips. Applicants are required to carry proper documentation proving the purpose of their trip.
Business Visa – This visa is available for new expatriate workers and persons conducting short-term contractual work in Qatar. The visa is valid for a maximum of three months, and must be arranged in advance by an approved company or institution operating in Qatar.
Expatriates who invest in selected business ventures in the country are eligible to residency without employer ship. Applicants must obtain property ownership documents, a certificate of good behavior and have a medical check-up to qualify.
GCC Resident Visit Visa
GCC residents of approved professions and those accompanying them may obtain a one-month GCC Resident Visit Visa on arrival or through a Qatari embassy. The visa is renewable for an additional three months. Applicants should carry proper documentation proving their profession.
Family Visit Visa
Expatriate workers wishing to bring members of their family to Qatar on a short term basis (up to six months) can apply for a Family Visit Visa. The visa is valid for one month and can be extended for up to six months for immediate family members (wife, sons, daughters) and three months for other relatives. Visa holders who wish to apply for an extension must undergo a medical check.
Family Residence Visa
Expatriate employees, who earn QR10,000 or more a month, have completed six months of employment with their company, and wish to bring their immediate dependents to Qatar to live with them, can apply for a Family Residence Visa.
Effectively, the visa is granted under your employer ship (assuming you have a valid Qatar ID and Residence Visa from your employer or private employer ).
If you plan to stop over in Qatar temporarily (up to 24 hours) on your way to a destination, you should apply for a transit visa before you travel. The visa is valid for 24 hours and allows you to leave the airport transfers area to stay in Qatar.
The Transit Visa is also handy for workers whose job requires a short stay in Qatar, for example, seamen and truck drivers passing through Qatar. However, a Transit Visa is not acceptable for general business visits.
Transit Visas can be arranged through your local Qatari embassy prior to travel. Embassy workers and other authorized persons can apply online for transit visas on behalf of travelers.
Other Visa Types
Newborn babies who are less than three months old need a Newborn Visa when entering the country with his or her mother. The child should have either a passport or be included on the father or mother’s passport. Both parents should have a valid Residence Permit. A certificate of birth is also required. The visa is free.
Education Residence Visa
If you have a place at an approved educational institution and wish to stay in Qatar during your course, you can apply for an Education Residence Visa. This type of visa is granted by the Committee Reviewing Recruitment Applications and is available from Expatriates Affairs & Unified Services Centres of the MoI. This visa is issued free of charge.
This is a residence visa for real estate owners and it is issued through the General Directorate of Borders Passports and Expatriates Affairs at the MoI. Required documentation includes a valid passport, letter from a relevant agency outlining the property investment, a good conduct certificate and a medical check-up. The visa costs QR200.
If you, a member of your family, or a member of your household staff, have stayed out of the country for more than 6 months and your residency is still valid and you have prior approval of entry, you can purchase a Return Visa. There are different document requirements depending on who your employer is, details of which can be found at the MoI website here. The fee varies from QR200 to QR500 again depending on employer type.
This visa is issued when an expatriate loses his or her passport while being outside the country. A copy of a Lost Passport Certificate, along with copies of the old and new passport, are required. The visa costs QR200.
Government ministries and approved establishments can request this visa online. The visa is free, valid for one month and can be extended for five months (total 6 months) following medical tests and fingerprints.
Immigration Department Location
While many visas can be issued online, all travel documents can be processed at the Ministry of Interior’s Department of Passports and Expatriates Affairs. The head immigration department is located on Luqta Street (road to Qatar Foundation), just west of D-Ring Road.
For more information on entry visas, please visit The Ministry of Interior’s website.